Orange Spiced Squash Soup [CYOB]

With a sprinkle of fresh lemon thyme and a curl of orange zest, this warm, aromatic squash soup is the best answer for a frigid Brooklyn night.

With a sprinkle of fresh lemon thyme and a curl of orange zest, this warm, aromatic squash soup is the best answer for a frigid Brooklyn night.

Create Your Own Bite #34

Orange Spiced Squash Soup

1/4 Cup Chopped Onion

1/2 Cup Water

1/2 Teaspoon Cinnamon

1 Pinch Cumin and Ginger

1 Sprig Lemon Thyme

1/4 Chopped Apple

1/2 White Acorn Squash

1 Satsuma Orange

2 Tablespoons Fat-Free Half and Half

Salt and Pepper, To Taste

Estimated Calories: 75 (Per 1/2 Cup Serving). Makes 2 Servings.

Deep in the throws of the Polar Vortex, I decided I absolutely needed to find a way to warm up. I bought a new winter jacket, gloves, scarf, hat, and boots (which is ridiculous because you can’t realistically wear two sleeping bag-style jackets at the same time, try as I might) and began taking my meals as hot as possible to safely consume.

Eating my dinner standing over the stove, the oven door wide open and 425 degree air pouring into the kitchen is nice, but I decided my insatiable hunger for heat would be better met with a hearty, vegetarian, gluten-free, grain-free, homemade soup. The spices are a LWB-curated mix of seasonal favorites. (Which can easily be tweaked according to the weather, your mood, or what’s lying around in your spice cabinet.)

Returning to 1,001 Low-Fat Vegetarian Recipes, I found this fantastic recipe for an orange-scented squash soup. Easy to make and perfect for this wintry weather, you’re just a few ingredients and a food processor away from hot, healthy soup.

To begin, roast the squash until just barely cooked – about 10-15 minutes at 415 degrees. Meanwhile, saute the onion over medium-high heat. When the onion begins to turn translucent, mix in the spices, and cook until fragrant – about one minute. Reduce heat until you are ready to add the next ingredients.

The best part about preparing this soup is that - not only do you have heat filling the apartment from every possible appliance - but also the fragrance is far more delicious than any Yankee Candle.

The best part about preparing this soup is that – not only do you have heat filling the apartment from every possible appliance – but also the fragrance is far more delicious than any Yankee Candle.

Chances are, all this will occur before the squash is ready. But now is a good time to check. If the flesh of the squash gives easily to a fork, you can pull it from the oven. Let it cool, and then peel the meat away from the skin using a paring knife. Add this, along with the apple and water, to the saucepan with the onions and seasoning. Return heat to medium-high.

A Little Tip: Acorn squash works well with this dish because of its mild flavor and nuttiness. The next time I make this soup, however, I will opt for kabocha squash. I think the brightness of the citrus, as well as the herbs and spices, would be well-suited for a sweeter base. Not to mention how lovely this soup would look with the Japanese pumpkin’s vibrant orange flesh.

Cut your orange in half, and carefully cut away a few thin strips of the skin, careful to remove the zest from the pith. Add the orange peels to the mixture on the stovetop and cook for 5-10 minutes, or until the squash is completely cooked and the apples are tender.

To simplify the zesting process, peel your orange as if you were to eat it. Using a very sharp, small knife, remove remnants of the membrane and the pith from the peel - which is where all the flavor resides.

To simplify the zesting process, peel your orange as if you were to eat it. Using a very sharp, small knife, remove remnants of the membrane and the pith from the peel – which is where all the flavor resides.

Transfer your ingredients to a food processor, (first removing the orange peels) and blend until smooth. Add a touch of orange juice by squeezing the peeled half directly over the processor, cut-side up. This will prevent seeds from falling into your soup, and add just enough juice to emphasize the citrus undertones. (Reserve second half of orange for post-dinner snack!) Mix in half and half, salt and pepper, and processes until combined.

Serve hot, with a twist of orange peel and fresh thyme for garnish.

Until next time – you can find me over an open oven until this next wave of winter weather passes.

-Melanie

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